Frontiers and Opportunities in Bioenergy Crop Microbiome Research Networks

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Chou, Ming-Yi
Cregger, Melissa A.
Fedders, Anna
Field, John L.
Garcia Martin, Hector
Labbe, Jesse L.
Mechan-Llontop, Marco E.
Northen, Trent R.
Shade, Ashley
Major Professor
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The American Phytopathological Society (APS)
Howe, Adina
Associate Professor
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) Program at Iowa State University is an interdepartmental graduate major offering outstanding opportunities for graduate study toward the Ph.D. degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. The BCB program involves more than 80 nationally and internationally known faculty—biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and physicists—who participate in a wide range of collaborative projects.
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Researchers from across the four United States Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) engaged in a microbiome workshop that focused on identifying challenges and collaboration opportunities to better understand bioenergy-relevant plant–microbe interactions. The virtual workshop included hands-on educational sessions and a keynote address on current best practices in microbiome science and community microbiome standards, as well as breakout sessions aimed at identifying microbiome-related data and measurements that should be prioritized, opportunities for and barriers to integrating plant metabolites to microbiome research, and strategies for more effectively integrating microbiome data and processes into existing models. Based on participant discussion, key findings of the workshop were the need to prioritize scaling data sharing across BRCs and the broader research community and securing collaborative infrastructure in the areas of microbiome-ecosystem modeling and molecular plant–microbe interactions. This workshop review highlights additional main findings from this event, to encourage cross-site and more holistic metaanalyses while promoting wide scientific community engagement across plant microbiome sciences.
This article is published as Howe, Adina, Gregory Bonito, Ming-Yi Chou, Melissa A. Cregger, Anna Fedders, John L. Field, Hector Garcia Martin et al. "Frontiers and opportunities in bioenergy crop microbiome research networks." Phytobiomes Journal (2022): PBIOMES-05. DOI: 10.1094/PBIOMES-05-21-0033-MR. Copyright 2022 The American Phytopathological Society. Posted with permission.